Virginia Police Officer Stops Runaway Car With His Own
MINT SPRING, Va. — A teenager and a Virginia State Police sergeant are recovering after the teen leapt from a speeding vehicle on Interstate 81 in Augusta County and the officer used his patrol car to stop it.
Authorities said the 1998 Mazda Protege was traveling south on I-81 on Tuesday when the car’s passenger called 911 to report that its brakes were not working around mile marker 230 near Weyers Cave.
Nineteen-year-old Sean Wies told officials that the car was going about 60 miles per hour but was gaining and losing speed based on the grade of the highway.
Police dispatched to assist in the high-speed incident positioned their vehicles around the car in order to keep other vehicles on the interstate from being hit.
As the car reached speeds topping 100 miles per hour, Wies and the 19-year-old driver, Amy Guevara of Harrisonburg, jumped from the vehicle around mile marker 218 near Mint Spring. Sgt. C.J. Aikens then positioned his patrol car in front of the Mazda to stop it and force into the guardrail, officials said.
Wies and Aikens were taken to an area hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Guevara was not injured but was transported to the hospital as a precaution.
Officials said the Virginia State Police Accident Reconstruction Team responded to the scene to investigate the incident. No charges will be filed.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there have been four complaints filed with the agency for unintended acceleration problems with Proteges from the 1998 model year.
In 2009 and 2010, another automaker, Toyota Motor Corp., recalled more than 14 million vehicles at risk for unintended acceleration and braking issues.
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